Getting divorced is a touchy subject for many, as it can symbolize the ending of what once was a happy time in their life. However, when you add children to the mix, it can make the situation much more complex. On top of that, factor in that the parent of your child is a narcissist, and you have a recipe for disaster. If this situation sounds familiar, understanding how to co-parent with a narcissist is crucial, as it can impact your and your child’s life considerably. Keep reading to learn how to navigate the situation and discover how a Monroe, Louisiana child custody lawyer can help you.
What Is a Narcissist?
Unlike common beliefs, narcissism is a personality disorder, making it a mental health condition. Unfortunately, not much is known about the root cause, and there is no cure. However, therapy can help ease the effects of narcissism.
Those with narcissism receive a diagnosis from a mental health professional. Generally, those with narcissistic personality disorder have an inflated sense of self-worth, consistently placing their needs above others. They also believe they should receive special treatment and favors without question, even if they do not deserve them.
Similarly, they tend to have trouble handling criticism, leading to rage, depression, and anxiety. They often never back down during arguments, as they believe they are always right. This can make it challenging to co-parent, as they will always feel their opinions on childrearing are superior.
How Do I Navigate Co-Parenting?
Co-parenting with a narcissist can be challenging, as it poses unique issues that other families may not have to encounter. However, it is necessary to note that it’s almost impossible to co-parent. Instead, many experts recommend parallel parenting. This means you and the other parent will interact as little as possible, caring for the child independently, without the influence of the other.
You should also avoid speaking about the downfalls and harmful behaviors of the other parent to your children. Though you may want to clue your children into the situation, shielding them from feeling torn between both parents is vital. It is a responsibility no child should have. Instead, try your best to keep your children from experiencing the stressors of the situation and let them be a kid.
If your child informs you that the other parent said something negative about you, you may feel inclined to immediately disagree and defend yourself. However, this can only cause your child to experience more inner turmoil about who to believe. Instead, do your best to validate your child’s confusion and be mature. This will set a good example, and as your child gets older, they will begin to realize the reality of the situation on their own.
When trapped in a challenging co-parent situation with a narcissist, it’s essential to have an experienced attorney in your corner. If a concern arises, your lawyer can help protect your child’s best interest. Reach out to Breithaupt, DuBos & Wolleson today to discuss the details of your case.